When mugs attack the answer is simple: more mugs

Our household has become an oasis for mugs. If you find yourself without any, they are likely at my house. I once saw a news story about a cat that liked to steal mittens off of clothing lines. I suspect my wife is like that. She is sockcat of mugs.

At first it started out innocently; she would ask that I bring a mug home as a souvenir on business trips. I had no idea I was feeding an obsession. Soon cupboards were filled with them. Then my mug-loving wife started purchasing a few based on popular television shows. Then others showed up, just because.

Guests would then see all of our mugs when they came over, what with us waving hello to them and trying to converse underneath an avalanche having spilled out after foolishly opening a kitchen cabinet. People would see this and, instead of offering to help, would think to themselves, “These people love mugs. I’m going to buy them four or 900 as gifts from now until eternity.”

Soon, the mugs began fraternizing and spawning tiny mugs of their own. We slowly became the Woodstock of mugs.

Her mug obsession slowly morphed into water bottles because, as everyone knows, mugs are the gateway to bigger and harder receptacles. Once she got a taste of the thrill of water bottle collection, there was no stopping her. My questioning looks as to why we kept needing new ones were met with sideways glances. I was jealous, obviously. She NEEDED one in red. Or a taller one. Any excuse to get her water bottle fix.

Then when all those excuses were burned out it turned into a mobster-like scenario.

Me: “You bought ANOTHER water bottle?”

Wife: “Yep.”

Me: “Well, what happened to the one you JUST bought?”

Wife: “It had a little ‘accident.'”

Me: “What about the blue one?”

Wife: “Oh. That one. Well, you see, it turns out that one asked too many questions.”

Me: “It…what? Are you threatening me?”

Wife: “Whoa whoa whoa…slow down there. Nobody said anything about that.”

Me: “Well that’s what it sounded like.”

Wife: “What are you, the fuzz? No, no, no. You got it all wrong. See, we’re in this together. For better or worse. Remember? Let’s just say that ‘worse’ can come at any time. That’s all I’m saying.”

If you were to walk through our house at any given time, by the number of mugs in every room of the house you’d come to the conclusion that we were a 30-member, oddly hydrated cult. Archeologists navigating our dwelling would be befuddled.

Archeologist Dave: “Why would they have dozens of half-consumed mugs of liquid left sporadically throughout the home?”

Archeologist Mariah: “Must’ve been some kind of…ritual.”

Archeologist Dave: “The male must’ve been very confused.”

Archeologist Mariah: “And handsome.”

In retrospect, her growing obsession makes sense. When some real-life business called The Container Store opened near us, she couldn’t contain her excitement. And what are mugs and water bottles but subsets of containers?

If she had her way we’d be sleeping in a giant Tupperware container, probably in an oversized drawer so we would be put away nice and organized.

I’m starting to wonder if there needs to be an A&E show that’s like reverse Hoarders, where a professional disorganizer comes in and takes out all my wife’s things from their containers and drapes a few things haphazardly around the house. Thankfully, we do. They’re called children.

If your wife or husband suffers from Hyper-Organized Container Syndrome, feel free to host an intervention. An excerpt of my letter to my wife is below for reference. The only way I could get her to read it was to put it in a container.

Dear Wife,

I know. I should’ve probably used your name in the introduction. Forgive me; it’s been a trying time for us all.

I appreciate that some people collect things, however our house is starting to resemble the scene from Harry Potter where every time he touches a cursed goblet and it sprouts four identical ones. Do you plan on inviting the 1986 Chicago Bears over for coffee? I’m fine with it if you are. Just 24 hours’ notice, please.

Perhaps, and hear me out here, instead of BUYING mugs we MAKE them? Not only will the cost savings allow us to feed and educate our children, I recall a particularly sensual scene in the movie Ghost where Demi Moore seems to be enjoying making a vase or mug with Patrick Swayze.

That could be us. I could be your mug-making ghost Swayze.

I do admit it’s adorable how you have tried to organize all of the kid toys into bins, as if they’ll look at them and go, “Ohhh. THAT’s where everything goes!”

The answer is not “more containers” it’s “less children.”

What is missing in your life that you are filling with containers? Maybe instead of filling cupboards or mugs, we can work on filling you. Please take that in a sweet, positive way and remember the romantic Ghost reference six sentences ago.

Just know that we love you and don’t want to end up in a documentary.


Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via the Tupperware container in which his wife keeps him “In the Event of an Emergency Like Killing a Spider.” Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny for more ways to intervene in your relationship.